Dick Advocaat to play Adam Johnson for Sunderland at Arsenal

Adam Johnson could be recalled to the Sunderland line-up for the last two games of the season after Dick Advocaat hinted at the winger’s importance for the season’s finale.

Adam Johnson in action for Sunderland against Leicester City. Picture by FRANK REID
Adam Johnson in action for Sunderland against Leicester City. Picture by FRANK REID

Johnson has not started for Sunderland since February’s defeat at Man United after being arrested and then charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming,

The 27-year-old is due to appear at Peterlee Magistrates Court today.

For the second successive game, Johnson made a bright impression as a sub in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Leicester, as he injected some much-needed creativity.

And while Sunderland only require a point from the last two games at Arsenal and Chelsea to be mathematically sure of Premier League football, Advocaat could include the £10million man at the Emirates on Wednesday.

Advocaat said: “From the moment he came on, Johnson changed the game a little bit, but unfortunately this season, he hasn’t been there.

“Hopefully he can play the next two games.

“Overall, I cannot have too many complaints against Leicester, because the players gave everything for the club.

“Then you need a bit of luck like we had against Everton.

“But it was very crowded in the penalty area, so that’s when you need someone like Johnson.

“We got that at the end with Adam.”

Johnson’s potential inclusion reinforces Advocaat’s claim that he will not “park the bus” at Arsenal, even though a point will suffice for Sunderland.

Advocaat believes playing for a draw would be a dangerous game-plan considering the array of attacking talent in Arsenal’s ranks.

“If you go out there to defend, then they have so much individual quality,” he added.

“You have to try to play your own game and then maybe you have a chance.

“The circumstances are excellent, great stadium, excellent pitch, a team that likes to play football.

“Let’s find that one point we still need.”